There was no escalator like last time, no offensive nicknames as always, and none of the occasional awkward dance show, but supporters got exactly what they wanted in Florida on Tuesday: the announcement of Donald Trump’s run for the House. white again.
Quieter than the windswept parades of Make America Great Again, it was set in farmers’ fields or cavernous airplane hangars on the outskirts of a Midwestern city.
Trump all the way
But Trump was all the way, with American flags, family members, advisers and members of his private club packing the gilded ballroom at his Mar-a-Lago, Florida residence.
Time and time again, the former president’s often dark, often triumphant speech was interrupted by chants like “Trump, Trump, Trump,” while the billionaire turned TV star raved.
And when he finally reached the moment they had all been waiting for—”Tonight I am announcing my candidacy for President of the United States”—the room erupted.
One of the most divisive American figures of recent decades has revealed what he sees as his accomplishments during four chaotic years in Washington.
It was, he said, a time when “our nation was at the pinnacle of power, prosperity, and prestige, surpassing all competitors.”
In the 22 months since he left the White House, he said, and reluctantly handed the keys over to Joe Biden, the country has fallen apart.
No one in the room agreed.
“This new administration is destroying America and everything it stands for,” Eric Pardee told AFP.
They are destroying our national independence, our borders, our economy, our law and order.
“This man loves this country and stands up for it and that’s what a president should be, someone who stands up and stands up for our constitution.”
The warm embrace of such supporters was nice to Trump after a difficult week.
Several of his holdout-picked candidates received a crushing defeat at the ballot box last Tuesday, and knives went out in the GOP after the expected “red wave” failed to unfold.
Once authoritative party figures muttered that the former president’s misgivings about giving up his 2020 loss had become a turnoff for voters.
Even Fox News seems poised to move on.
To top it all off, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis beat him in a landslide re-election victory and is now talked about as the frontrunner for the GOP nomination to the White House.
Some of those who felt this way weren’t even trying to keep it secret; “I lost again Donald #DeSantis 2024,” reads the back banner of a small plane that flew over Mar-a-Lago.
But for those on the ground, there was no question who should be the standard bearer in 2024.
“He was chosen by God to fight for our country. His patriotism inspires us to support him,” said Stephanie Liu, 50, a US citizen born in China.
“I’m so excited. It feels almost like Christmas morning, and Santa Claus is coming,” 54-year-old Stacey Pofaso said with a smile.
Donald J. Trump is our president and we need him back.
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